As regular readers of T3 will know, we have a strong history already with electric motorbikes. I myself rode the Harley-Davidson LiveWire, while we've also had team members hopping about electric bikes such as the Zero S – and we've been impressed with what we've seen so far.
Which is why I was so interested to leave my Aprilia RSV 1000R in my garage and hop on board the brand new, built in the UK, Maeving RM1 electric motorcycle.
And it wasn't just the RM1's drop dead gorgeous looks that had me eager to go hands on, but the all-electric two-wheeler's rather unique removable battery system.
Indeed, this ability to remove the RM1's power source, and then charge the battery indoors in the home or office, feels like it has the potential to be a huge game-changer for many urban commuters, as it removes the need to have the vehicle near your home or to have charging cables trailing out of it.
I rode the Maeving RM1 for entire week, and this is what I thought of it.
Maeving RM1 review: design and battery system
One look at the Maeving RM1 and it's easy to see how this thing turns heads. Simply put, the motorcycle looks stunning, with a gorgeous overall retro style contrasted at its heart by the electric motor and second battery tank. It's a gorgeous hybrid of old and new to my eye.
There's lots of lovely details on the RM1. The floating, leather upholstered seat, rear wheel guard-mounted licence plate (which is the current style for many new motorbikes), streamlined classic bike instrument cluster, large circular central headlamp, thin and sculpted tank (where another battery is located) and slick black suspension springs and frame.
The main way you can customise the look of the RM1 is in terms of selecting the colour of the bike's tank, with options including Maeving Blue, Blackout, Silver, White, Grey, Green and Sand. In my mind all these look class, but Maeving Blue and White would be my top picks.
Overall I think Maeving has done a fantastic job with the design of the RM1. Classic bike styles, such as this boardtracker-inspired design from Maeving, are bang on trend right now in the motorbike world, so I can see the RM1's look really appealing to a lot of riders.
Ok, now let's talk the bike's power source – its removable battery or, if you buy two, batteries plural.
Because, being honest, it is this ability to very quickly and easily remove the RM1's batteries and then charge them in a charger, away from the bike, that is a key selling point for this machine.
There are many electric scooters on the market, and indeed full-blown electric motorbikes, on the market, but these don't have removable batteries, meaning you need to be able to take a charging cable to the machine. That is a luxury that many urban commuters, who live in apartments far away from the road or bike storage area, do not have.
You can tell that Maeving spent a good deal of time making the battery system as slick as possible. The machine can accept two batteries, which are made by Maeving and are tall silver oblongs with handles on the top. Each battery is heavy but easily lifted with the handle, which is inlaid with Japanese bamboo – classy.
One of these batteries lives horizontally in the RM1's tank, which obviously isn't filled with petrol, while the other is located in a vertical bin under the tank, with the compartment popping out to the side for battery insertion and removal.
To remove the bikes battery/batteries, you need to turn the bike into standby mode with its key, then turn it off – you then get a 5 second window (with a countdown on the bike's instrument panel visible) to press a battery compartment release button. Press this within the 5 seconds and the tank will pop open, as too will the vertical compartment under it. This obviously means any old person can't just come along and steal your bike's power source.
Removing the batteries is as easy as gripping the handle and pulling out of the compartment.
You can then place the battery or batteries onto their chargers, which simply plug into a standard wall socket, and charge them up. Charging times, according to Maeving, are 0-100% in under 4 hours, 50-100% in 2 hours, and 20-80% in just over 2 hours. I just stuck them on charge at the end of the day, or while I was working in the office, and came back to find 100% every time I needed to use the bike. Simple.
The removable battery system and these charging times show exactly how the RM1 has been designed to be used. It's an urban commuter where a rider can charge its battery overnight, then plug the battery in in the morning to ride to work, before removing it again at the end of the day, or taking it out at their office and proceeding to top it up while at work.
If you buy an RM1 with one battery then you get a 40-mile range, while if you buy a second battery, which will cost you an extra £995, then you get a 80-mile range. Of course, what you need to remember, though, is that those figures imply a total charger-to-charger distance, as the battery/batteries will then have to be recharged. So a round trip would have a limit of about 20 miles in one direction and 20 miles back again, providing you don't buy a second charger, on one battery. You can then double that if you've got two batteries, up to 40 miles in one direction and 40 miles back.
I had no problem inserting, removing and charging the batteries for the RM1, and while I do have a garage where I stored the bike that does have plug sockets available in it, I could totally see how someone who lives in a block of flats, or an apartment building, could park their RM1 in the basement parking and then take their battery or batteries with them to their home for charging. The system works well and offers a lot of convenience to the urban dweller.
As for build quality, the RM1 felt to me very well constructed, with the whole bike radiating a premium product feel.
Maeving RM1 review: ride and performance
Ok, this is where I have to be really clear that, compared to a say petrol-powered, CBT-friendly bike such as the Honda CBR125R, the Maeving RM1 isn't in the same ballpark in terms of performance.
The Maeving RM1 is designed largely for urban city commuting and short trips, and has a top speed of around 45mph (72kmh) and a maximum range of 80 miles (128km) with two batteries. Compare that, say, to the Honda CBR125R, and the Japanese bike delivers a 270-mile range and 70mph top speed.
These aren't really comparable products, though, but I need to emphasise the difference as it really highlights what the Maeving RM1 is designed to do and should be bought to do, and what it is not designed to do.
If you want to use it for what it is designed for, which is short eco-friendly return trips in city and suburban locations with the convenience of charging its power source in the home, then it's great. Acceleration isn't ballistic but it's quick, with the electric motor quickly carrying you up to 30mph+, and while the dual spring shocks setup isn't as comfy as most traditional non-electric motorbikes I've ridden, it delivers in general a comfortable, drama free ride on the road.
But, obviously, this bike doesn't offer the flexibility to do long-distance travelling. Remember, you can't charge this bike up at a fast-charge electric charging station, so to charge it on the go you'd need to carry its charger with you (heavy and cumbersome, and as the bike has no top-box or panniers you'd need to carry it in your backpack) and be able to plug the charger into a wall socket and have the freedom to wait up to 3.5 hours for the battery to charge.
I rode on the RM1 for a week, and what it excels at - because that's what it has been designed to do - was very apparent. Riding around Bath city centre and suburbs was fantastic – heads were turned frequently as I'd ride by, all silent assassin and super stylish, on the super lightweight and easy to handle RM1. And when I got to work I could simply remove the bike's batteries and get them charged with a charger I'd left in the office. I'd then be ready to turn heads once more on my return journey.
However, when I tested the RM1 to its limits by taking it out on a fast, open national speed limit road (here at T3 we take testing very seriously and needed to discover everything the bike could or couldn't offer its rider), I soon felt outgunned. That 45mph limit meant that traffic would build up behind me on a national speed limit road. In addition, I live on the top of quite a steep hill, and whenever I'd travel back up it at the end of the day I'd discover the RM1 couldn't push over 35mph on this steep incline. Not ideal.
Basically, then, the performance of the RM1 is highly tailored to urban city short journeys, and not long-distance/country ones. In the urban city environment it delivers, but take it outside of this environment at its performance limitations are exposed.
Maeving RM1 review: verdict
I really loved my time with the Maeving RM1. This all-electric motorcycle looks a million dollars and I was genuinely impressed with just how well implemented its removable battery charging system is.
I used it to commute into work numerous times, as well as go out on a few pleasure rides, and it was evident that it was something special by simply the amount of heads that got turned when I cruised on by.
Doing short round trips on the RM1 was dreamy really, with its simple operation and ghost-like silent operation often tricking my brain into thinking I was on one of the best electric bikes rather than an electric motorbike.
I think the guys at Maeving have done a fantastic job with the RM1 and created an electric motorcycle that will be a game-changer for many urban city dwellers, be they new to biking or not.
However, I can also honestly see that this bike isn't really designed for me. Living as I do 5 miles out of Bath city centre and, truth be told, in the countryside, the RM1 isn't perfectly adapted to my individual situation. This is a bike for urban city use and predominantly 0-40mph commutes and short journeys, not blasting down the A36 at the national speed limit, which it simply cannot do.
There's nothing like the RM1, though, in my mind on the market today and that is why I have no hesitation to award it a maximum score of 5 stars. It is simply the best type of its product you can buy today in 2022. That fantastic mixture of drop-dead gorgeous looks, premium build quality and ingenious removeable electric battery system makes it a market leader, and in my mind a really smart buy for many riders, especially if they're new to biking with a CBT licence and live, work or study in a predominantly urban environment.
More information about the Maeving RM1 can be found at the firm's official website.